Monday night, we drove north to a tiny town on the Adriatic sea – Starigrad – which appears to be used mostly as a point of departure for hiking the Velebit mountain range, including Paklenica National Park. That was our plan, at least.
In typical fashion, I suffered from delusions of grandeur in planning our route — an 880 meter climb that would reward us with sweeping views of the sea. That was until one of the guides informed us that the final 130 meters are “hard,” “very steep,” and “on cliff.” The following conversation ensued:
Me: How bad can it be?
Friend: I am not hiking at the edge of a cliff or scaling a mountain wall.
Me: Let’s try it. We can turn back if it gets too crazy.
Ten minutes later, we turned around.
Still, it was a strenuous, sweaty, long and beautiful hike through Paklenica, and we enjoyed seeing a completely different part of Croatia, not just its gleaming coastline. Paklenica is not as famous as some of the other national parks in Croatia, but it is a hiker’s paradise and not nearly as crowded. I highly recommend it. Proof below.